Cooking with Kyle: Paying homage to Howard Johnson’s restaurants with ‘Indian Pudding’

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Tuesday marks the closing of one of the last of Howard Johnson’s restaurants. The Bangor, Maine Orange Roof Diner is closing its doors.

Kyle is honoring the restaurant’s famous Indian Pudding with his own twist.

5 C Whole Milk
1/2 C Yellow Corn Meal
1/2 C Molasses
1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar
1 t Ground Ginger
1/2 t Salt
* additions and variations below.

Butter a 2 quart baking or soufflé dish. Place a double boiler over medium-high heat. Bring water to a boil.
In a saucepan, scald milk.

Place scalded milk and corn meal into upper part of double boiler. Stir thoroughly. (I use both a whisk and a spatula to knock down sides/scrape bottom) Cook for roughly 20 minutes, or until mixture thickens like gravy.

Remove upper portion of double boiler. Stir in molasses, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Mix thoroughly. The mixture should resemble a caramel color with the thickness of a gravy.

Pour mixture into buttered casserole/soufflé. Place in oven for 2 hours at 300 degrees; remove from oven and allow to set for a few minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. May be reheated in oven or in microwave on medium power.

*This recipe closely resembles the Indian Pudding served at Howard Johnson’s, but countless variations exist. Popular additions include:
1 t Ground Cinnamon
1/2 C Dried Cranberries or Raisins
1 C Pecans – added to top 1/2 way through baking